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Would Experimentum crucis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimentum_crucis) be a better term?
Daniel: you needed to type Experimentum crucis.
Funny how it goes these days. People make it to the New York Times with the claim that null results are generally not useful. Now you seem to ask if, on the contrary, “crucial result” is a synonym for null result.
Admittedly, I can’t understand where this all comes from. To me it seems evident, elementary and trivial that a null result may be any or neither of worthless or crucial. In fact every result is a null result for a suitable choice of null hypothesis.
That said, I don’t want to get sidetracked into discussing this. I think what I set out to do here – collecting examples of null results that were historically important – is, even if about trivia, an interesting thing to do. I am not pursuing this as a main activity, just for entertainment and procrastination – and maybe eventually to help out NYT editors ;-)
All substantial contributions are welcome.
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